Graphic gay sex scene a big problem for Ewan McGregor/Jim Carrey film


Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey made a movie together called I Love You Phillip Morris. It’s a true story about two prisoners who fall in love. It’s called a comedy, but there are supposed to be some very “Brokeback Mountain only in prison” parts to it.

Jim and Ewan were promoting the film in Sundance earlier this year, but the film still lacks a distributor. Some are pointing out the “graphic” gay sex scene ten minutes into the film. Apparently it’s a real problem, and the film may go straight to DVD.

Jim Carrey black comedy I Love You Phillip Morris may not get a US cinema release because it contains an explicit gay sex scene.

Despite securing distribution deals in the UK and Europe, US firms are uneasy with a love scene between Carrey and Ewan McGregor’s character Phillip Morris, reports The Times.

“The depiction of the sexual activity was far more than I’ve ever seen in a mainstream film with a mainstream celebrity,” said Lewis Tice, director of publicity and marketing for TLA Releasing. “There’s a graphic sex scene in the first 10 minutes that I was surprised to see.”

Filmmakers are re-cutting the movie for US distribution companies in an attempt to secure a theatrical release. If no agreement is reached, the movie will go straight to DVD.

“Mostly straight, multiplex-going audiences don’t want to see a romantic comedy in which two dudes get it on; unless it is meant as a joke,” commented Scott Stiffler, author of Why Hollywood Avoids Gay Movies.

I Love You Phillip Morris focuses on real-life con artist Steven Marshall (Carrey), who falls in love with his cellmate (McGregor).

[From Digital Spy]

As far as the comments made by “Scott Stiffler” (do you think that’s his real name?), I would love to see a movie where Ewan and Jim get it on. Jim Carrey is just incidental for me, just point me in the direction of Ewan dropping his clothes, and I’m there.

I don’t know if this film lacking a distribution deal is somehow part of a larger problem with how “gay issues” are treated in film, television and the media as a whole. Was Brokeback Mountain really the larger gay rights/gays-in-media success that it was billed as? Was Milk more about Sean Penn being a great actor rather than some bigger gay rights agenda? Or is I Love You Phillip Morris just a bad movie, and that’s why it probably won’t be released? I have no idea.


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39 Responses to “Graphic gay sex scene a big problem for Ewan McGregor/Jim Carrey film”

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  1. Candy says:

    We’re such prudes! It goes to show how America still discriminates homosexuals, besides the whole proposition 8 debacle.

    “point me in the direction of Ewan dropping his clothes, and I’m there.”
    Ms. Keiser, I’m going with ya’!

  2. geronimo says:

    LOL. Just LOL. When it’s released, I’ll post a blow-by-blow account (with stills) from our shameless, corrupt side of the pond, kaiser.

  3. Rosanna says:

    Now, I think *this* is homophobia. As much as people are “at ease” with gays, graphic heterosexual scenes are OK whereas graphic homosexual scenes are not??? Gimme a break. This shouldn’t happen.

  4. Tia says:

    who cares.. I mean when I go to the movies I am uncomfortable with graphic sex scenes of any kind. I think that is a huge part of it.. but people need to get used to seeing two men together.. they love two women together, well it is about time men are in mainstream as well.

  5. Debbi says:

    I read up on the real-life story that this is based on, and now I want to see the movie, graphic gay sex or not. Apparently the character played by Jim Carey did all kinds of wacky prison breaks in order to be with his true love. I can really see him hamming it up in this role!

  6. Kate~ says:

    That would be awesome, geronimo! I don’t really care about seeing Jim naked, but seeing more of Ewan’s package makes me squeal with joy!

  7. Xander says:

    People it’s 2009! I can’t really understand all the controversy around this movie. In Europe there are a lot of movies with scenes like these in movies. The saddest thing is that it’s about the ten minutes! But there’s no such thing as bad publicity so maybe this is going to be a blockbuster!
    Xander, The Netherlands

  8. Giz says:

    Yes, it is 2009 and we continue to develop and show more graphic and gory ways of multilating the human body for the big screen. Now human sexuality, well, that’s waaaay too nasty! Geez

  9. lrm says:

    Point is,is it a comedy? or a romantic comedy?
    Or does it end up being a dramedy? but billing itself as comedy?
    that is the most annoying thing,which often damns movies at the theater,review wise.
    Also,if Carey’s fan base is not interested,they are not interested.
    You know,teens or hipsters,for example,may not give a rat’s a*s about a gay scene,one way or the other.
    And that’s the point!
    They may just not be interested in this topic.
    I frankly feel the same-and I love will and grace,alright?!?
    But I just don’t care either way about the oh scandal! on screen gay love scenes.
    Anymore than I’d probably care about this movie if it were between heterosexuals.
    I don’t care about a prison love story.

    And by the way,it sounds like a big ‘pitch’ for the movie is it’s controversial-esque nature. ie, Using the gay theme to mix things up and get attention for the story.

    Okay,netherlands,what would be the draw in europe for such a film? would people flock to this story line for the story’s sake?
    Yea,so artsy films that include gay scenes do well,b/c maybe they are good,provocative films.

    I’m so tired of the two sided mainstream america bashing.
    If hollywood didn’t have that,would anyone want to see this type of film anyway?
    It doesn’t sound that riveting,honestly.

    It’s like people calling woody allen racist,when what he is doing is filming about what interests him.
    Honestly,we don’t all have to be walking Bennetton ads to be inclusive.

    When it’s all said and done,and all of this PC drama is over,we’ll all gravitate towards what genuinely interests us,not just what we’ve been told is either acceptable or progressive-two sides of the same coin.

    But that’s okay,europe,you just go right ahead and revel in your oh so much more inclusive and progressive illusions. Gives you a nice identity,anyway.

  10. Kaiser says:

    Geonimo – Right? I’m LMAO at that movie poster. That should go up on some Hall of Fame. The look on Ewan’s face is *priceless*.

  11. mark says:

    America is a backward country whose religious dogma is worse than many muslim countries. Go to Europe and you’ll see there IS another world out there that isn’t America, AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL….

  12. j. ferber says:

    Rupert Everett said that Americans are okay with gay men in the movies, as long as they’re played by heterosexual men. I think he has a point. Good for these 2 actors for doing something courageous on film.

  13. yosafbridge says:

    If you want to see a really detailed account of the MPAA ratings system and how it effects gay content I highly recommend a documentary called This Film is Not Yet Rated.

  14. Gena says:

    I think it looks like a sweet movie.

    @Mark: Haw! As an American living in the UK… I thought I lived in the land of the free, but… then I moved here. I love America… but…

  15. Mairead says:

    I’ll bet you, you’d get far more “graphic” scenes in 90210. The guy said it himself – it was more than he expected to see on a mainstream film with mainstream stars. In comedies gay men can only be practically asexual anodyne wrist-flapping label-whores whose sexual activity must always be limited to *wink wink nudge nudge*

    But anyway.. that poster is a scream! Ewan looks like he’s had 12 years taken off his age and added onto Jim’s!

  16. sarcra says:

    I don’t want to see graphic sex in a movie, straight or gay. I don’t want to see graphic violence either.

  17. Vancouver Girl says:

    I agree w/ Sarcra. I don’t want graphic sex (or violence) in my movies!

  18. Ron says:

    How long ago was Basic Instinct released? 1992? That film had all kinds of graphic and gratuitus kinky sex scenes and there was no problem releasing that one? Even with the lesbian undertones. But change it to gay men and it’s nasty and wrong. We are allowed to do your hair, clothes, flower arrangements, produce and write what you watch on television and see at the movies, and decorate your house, but dammit we should never never never be seen touching each other ever. This really ticks me off. Think about how disgusted Sandler and James are in Chuck and Larry about having to kiss? Why is it always made to seem gross? As a gay man it’s one of the things that I love about our community, we are friendly and kiss each other when we greet and I do that with my female friends as well. I hate the fact that affection between men is deemed to be so distasteful. I am not for the use of sex in films for shock value, but if it’s part of the story, it’s part of the story. We are a vauable part of this society whether you want to see us or not.

  19. Because I Say So says:

    To those who don’t like graphic scenes of any kind, there’s this lovely studio called Disney for you….

  20. sarcra says:

    There are lots of movies, not just the Disney kind, that are great without all of that stuff. It’s not needed to make an impact.

  21. kiki says:

    its graphic butt sex scene in the movie people are pretty freaked out by scene this in a Jim Carrey movie

  22. geronimo says:

    Interesting interview with directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa:

  23. geronimo says:

    Bravo, Ron. Not to mention the amount of gratuitous violence that gets past the censors every day of the week, Guns ok, gay relationships, not so much. Which is why European cinema has always been streets ahead when it comes to truly reflecting society.

  24. Feebee says:

    I’d like to know what the definition of graphic sex scene is. Does the fact that it’s gay make it more graphic with less ‘skin’ or less actual sexual content than a hetro sex scene.

    Can’t see why they can’t release the film and let the damn public make the call.

  25. mE says:

    May be surprising to some but I say that they should release it as is. I am of the firm belief that adult people can make the choice for themselves what they want to let into their eye hole, you know? I do think that MPAA has its place though I am a bit iffy on how they function (I also recommend “This Movie is not yet rated”)

    And like many people here, I would pay to watch Ewan McGregor read out of the phone book. Jim Carey? I would prefer not to think that the man has a penis at all. You know, all smooth down there, like a Ken doll.

    How is it that we have all seen Sharon Stone’s bush but the peen is just way too sacred to see in a mainstream film (for the most part). I say show it all, let the moviegoers decide what they want to see.

  26. really? says:

    The kissing scenes in Milk made me cringe, so this is not a movie I could watch. Yes, you are wonderful stylists but I am still not quite comfortable with watching you make out.

  27. anastasiabeaverhausen says:

    Darnit, why does it have to be with Jim Carrey? Ewan is one of my biggest crushes, but Jim Carrey just kills it.

  28. anastasiabeaverhausen says:

    I watched the trailer and what I find the most objectionable about it is that getting in a car accident “made” him gay.

  29. Mairead says:

    @Ron – I salute you sir.

    @ really? There are plenty of us who don’t particularly relish watching any couple slobbering all over each other, regardless of the component genders.

    That’s one of the reason why I like old movies and the Bourne films so much, the story doesn’t come to a halt to have the “obligatory sex scene”, which is almost always what it feels like, especially in Hollywood films. And most of the times it’s cringeworthy and adds nothing to the overall plot.

    It’s marginally less tiresome in European cinema as it’s generally not just shoved in there (no pun intended – honest) just to keep the “target” 18-35 male audience happy/awake.

  30. Jamine says:

    “Mostly straight, multiplex-going audiences don’t want to see a romantic comedy in which two dudes get it on; unless it is meant as a joke,” commented Scott Stiffler, author of Why Hollywood Avoids Gay Movies.

    Umm, and you have asked all these straight people, have you? I don’t remember anybody asking me what I thought. I have no problem with it. Sure, it can be shocking if you have never seen that before, but it needs to be mainstream so that ppl get over their stupid problems with homosexuality. There is nothing wrong with it. And what about all those gay ppl out there? do you really think they wanna go to the movies and see a man and a woman getting it on? Gays like movies too!

  31. orion70 says:

    I love Ewan McGregor, but Jim Carrey on screen does nothing for me, he does not make me want to go see his films. I don’t see him as an “actor” just various degrees of Jim Carrey.

    On another note, as someone who has worked in a prison, prison-romance movies do NOTHING for me…doesn’t matter who is in them, male or female.

  32. becca says:

    ““Mostly straight, multiplex-going audiences don’t want to see a romantic comedy in which two dudes get it on; unless it is meant as a joke,” commented Scott Stiffler, author of Why Hollywood Avoids Gay Movies.”

    WHAT?! Maybe it’s just because I go to a University that’s been credited as having one of the largest LGBT communities in the COUNTRY right next to the likes of Berkeley, but SERIOUSLY?! I live with a passionate ally and if she saw this, she’d hit the roof.

    If it’s tantamount to the storyline, then it should be there. If it’s there because it’s gratuitous, then figure out how to tone it down and edit it. Sex is sex. If it’s there to be part of the story, I don’t really care. Saving Private Ryan had one of the most GRAPHIC battle scenes I have ever seen to this very day. THAT didn’t have any issues getting a distributor (which makes me wonder, what would happen if this movie was helmed by the Spieldberg like Ryan was?)

    Oh, and what about American History X? I remember there being a rather graphic homosexual rape scene.

    Ugh, this sickens me.

  33. c says:

    yeah, why is torture p0rn ok and not a homosexual relationship? In fact, I’m not entirely comfortable with graphic hetero- or homo- sex scenes in movies, but I really object to those horrible torture movies – THAT’s what makes people crazy.

  34. eternalcanadian says:

    I haven’t heard about this movie in Canada. I would hope distributers here aren’t as prudish as the ones in the USA, but then again since we get pretty much all our movies via the USA we’ll be stuck with the anti-homosexual, prudish “eeewww, man-on-man sex is bad, icky poo” attitude. i remember the huge flap brokeback mountain raised, and when i finally saw the movie i was like, huh? that’s it? what was the fuss about? geez, i’ve seen more explicit crap in supposedly str8-sex movies.

  35. Tori says:

    Jim Carrey not sexy?! Has anybody seen the movie 23? Oh my god he blew my mind. Me and my husband couldn’t beleive how sexy he was. Also Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind….not really a sexy character but he played a real person who was in love and would do anything for it. Both of those movies Jim was sexy in. And yes me and my husband go both ways so you can get that off of your chest.

  36. Aspen says:

    How did you jump to “America is a bunch of prudes” from ONE stuffshirt in a distribution company making a statement about the inappropriate nature of a serious and graphic sex scene in a romantic comedy?

    HA HA HA. Whatever.

    I didn’t see anything homophobic in that statement, but I did see a typical kneejerk reaction from the stiffler guy’s little petulant response and from the typical contingent of European posters who love ANY excuse to dogpile and insult Americans whenever possible.

  37. Aspen says:

    Japanese people are socially awkward nerds.

    British people are anal-retentive and unaffectionate.

    The Irish are violent drunkards.

    The French are oversexed and have no morality.

    Germans are racist and repressed.

    Africans are primitive and uneducated.


    …yeah, that’s all pretty nasty, and it’s all WAY to general to apply in a truthful way to any of the large groups of people I’ve plastered it on, here.

    So why do you feel justified to get on a high horse and do the same to Americans? There are 350 million of us. We’re not, all of us, the same.

  38. Aspen says:

    Arrogant…after thought, I decided that I would not object to Americans being labeled arrogant.

    We really are…in a benign and “we love everyone else, too” kind of way.

    It’s a cultural trait–patriotic arrogance.

    We’re not prudes, however. We tend to be a group of people with standards…but we’re not prudes. And the English calling us that? Seriously…pot callin’ kettle what?

  39. I go along with you, I’m sure! Will it become plausible for you to get yuor web blog translated directly into Chinese? English is my second language.